Tampa Bay is a large metropolitan area, which has lots of area cultural displays, world class beaches, waterways, museums restaurants and attractions for tourists as well as local residents. Many of these things are affordable or even free, a great way to save especially if touring as a visitor or just wanting to explore the city further as a resident. Tampa Bay airport has been expanding its flight market recently as well with some new destinations, so the opportunities to visit are increasing for lots of people.
Big Bend Power Station / Manatee Viewing
The Tampa power station is more famous as a Manatee Viewing Center the infrastructure allows for visitors to see these curious creatures in canals around the premises. The center is also home to a butterfly garden and various halls with exibits and shows around environmental themes throughout the year. Admission is free, but the place only open from November 1 to April 15.
This fantastic building contains the world’s most diversified collection of works by the famed Spanish surrealist painter Salvador Dalí, The Michelin Guide gives The Dali Museum a coveted 3 star rating and with the displays constantly circulating you can come back and see something new from around the world everytime. The entrance fee is $21 standard with discounts for seniors, students and children.
This is one of Florida’s premiere rollercoaster and amusement parks. It is not limited to nerve twisting rides however, it contains a massive safari park, lots of restaurants, shops and live shows. Get in early to avoid the long lines for rides in the afternoon and the occasional afternoon showers which may shut down the rides for some time.
Henry Plant Museum
Like many great Florida pioneers, Henry Plant made his incursion into history via the railroad. The Plant Museum celebrates his journey and that of so many early settlers to the Tampa Bay area. More stunning from outside is that the museum used to be the Tampa Bay Hotel and boasts a curious Moorish and brick architecture. Inside in addition to displays the rooms have been preserved and furnished to the period of their construction.
Fort De Soto Park
Getting out to the beach isn’t all just sand and surf. Fort Desoto is a unique barrier island and park at the opening of Tampa Bay to the Gulf of Mexico. It does have three miles of pristine sandy beaches, various campgrounds and piers. There’s also a, nature trails, picnic areas, a dog park playgrounds and various races and competitions hosted year round and admission to the park is free.
Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo
Lowry Park has made a name for itself as of late and has been hailed by some as the best Zoo in the U.S. It has a great climate for the many tropical and exotic species on display and of course has an excellent section for Florida wildlife and endangered species. Many visitors are amazed at how close one can get to the animals. There is ample parking, a shuttle, plenty of restaurants shows and chances to feed the animals too. One-day ticket prices are $19.95 for kids 3-11 and $24.95 for adults you gain admission to this wonderful zoo.
The Pinellas Country Heritage Village
This 21-acre living history museum features a school, church, railroad depot, historic homes and even a sponge warehouse for a total of 28 unique structures dating back from the mid-19th century. Walk around yourself or hop on a guided tour, either way here one can enjoy living history demonstrations and hands-on activities such as blacksmithing, and weaving and cooking, all the while admission is free.